For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. – Psalm 139:13-14
My mother used to tell me I was conceived to save my parents’ marriage. Considering my father left when I was 6 weeks old, I carried around a sense of failure and inadequacy for a very long time. This is the sting of my inauspicious beginning.
A good friend of mine was adopted. Now a wife and mother, she is beginning her journey of resolving the nagging questions of her heritage and perhaps even her abandonment.
Other women’s lives have begun in the backseat of a car, under the duress of an abusive lover, even at the blade of a knife.
Our circumstances are different, but the eternal truth is unchanging: Each one of us is conceived in love – the love of a perfect God.
This reality hit me the other day and has sweetly clung to me ever since. My father abandoned me, yes, but so did my mother – multiple times until her ultimate abandonment through suicide. This felt like yet another failure on my part. I was not enough. If only I had been loved.
But I am. So are you. Regardless of the circumstances of your birth – no matter how base, how vile, how degrading – God knew you before the foundations of the world, had a plan in place to prosper and not harm you, and lovingly began to knit you together in your mother’s womb.
Even before you possessed the consciousness to seek redemption, redemption began. Out of pain came beauty, the beauty of a life spoken into being by God.
You can spend your life lamenting that you were unwanted, unloved and unworthy, but those are all lies. I know, because I fell for them too. For many years I made choices based on my need to feel wanted and loved and worthy. All the while I ignored evidence of His protection over me and His provision for me. Yet He did not relent in His pursuit of me. Such great grace!
I’ve had to reconcile the existence of such great grace with the horrors of my childhood. What was God’s purpose in allowing me and my sister, who also eventually took her own life, to experience so much pain we were powerless to process? Could we not have been born to different parents who would have valued and nurtured us?
None of this was God’s perfect will for my life. He did not want me to be born into a home where I would know no love. He does not want babies conceived under duress or threat of life. None of this is of God. But He permits it because we live in a fallen world inhabited by fallen people.
Such is the stain of sin. Such is the sin He bore upon the cross. The weight of it crushed and killed Him. But three days later, He rose, forever defeating death and hell. And now He offers us eternal redemption, wrapped in perfect love and sealed with His perfect blood. This is the hope into which I have been reborn.
Jesus, You are my Creator, My Redeemer and the lover of my soul. I give You everything from my beginning to my end. Though my father and mother forsake me, You have always been there to receive me. Teach me Your way, Lord, and lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Allow me to remain confident that I will see Your goodness in the land of the living. Help me to be strong and take heart and wait for You. Amen.